Marijuana Politics

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Ban cannabis-infused soft drinks, public health directors urge Quebec

Quebec’s public-health directors are warning that the provincial government’s proposed regulations restricting edible cannabis products contain “grey areas … that undermine the effectiveness” of the new rules.

In July, the Coalition Avenir Québec government announced that it will ban the sale of cannabis-based chocolates, candies and “any other product attractive to minors.” However, the draft regulations do not specifically prohibit the sale of cannabis-infused soft drinks and juices and, in fact, would “establish that an edible cannabis product in liquid form cannot contain THC (the main active ingredient) that is greater than 5 milligrams per package.”


Saskatoon Council votes to reduce cannabis store licensing fee from $10,000 to $85

City Council voted by a margin of 6-4 Monday night to reduce the licensing renewal fee for cannabis retail stores from $10,000 to $85

The fee applies to the city’s seven retail cannabis outlets allowed under provincial legislation.

This is a further decrease from the original $500 recommended by city staff, the result of a motion introduced at a committee meeting August 12. It puts the renewal fee that cannabis businesses pay in line with most other types of businesses in the city.

In discussion Monday, Coun. Ann Iwanchuk called the $500 “arbitrary.”

“The vast majority of businesses pay $85 dollars, I feel like this is a way of singling out this one particular business,” she said. “We’re not the moral authority here.”


Canadian woman faces lifetime ban after getting caught with CBD oil at U.S. border

U.S. border protection has barred a young Canadian woman from crossing the border after cannabidiol (CBD) oil was found in her backpack — a non-psychoactive product of the cannabis plant she uses to treat the painful side effects of scoliosis.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified by CBC News pending the outcome of an application for reentry, is the latest Canadian to face border troubles after Canada legalized cannabis last year.

Thousands of Canadians have been denied entry to the U.S. simply for admitting they've smoked a joint once in their lives. Others have been banned from entering the country for life for carrying cannabis products to the border — a punishment that this unsuspecting CBD oil user could now face as well, according to immigration experts.


Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store

A numbered company with the same Toronto address as the illegal cannabis dispensary CAFE, which has repeatedly been shut down by city officials and police, was a winner in Ontario's latest cannabis store lottery. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced 42 lottery winners — 4,800 people or companies had expressed interest in opening a legal pot shop — that will now have the chance to open a legal store on Wednesday. The full list is at the bottom of this story.

Among the winners was 11180673 Canada Inc., based at 104 Harbord St., where one of CAFE's location is based. 


CannTrust says Ontario Cannabis Store returns $2.9M in products

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO 3.58%), the Canadian pot company that’s plunged more than half this year after it breached regulations, said Ontario’s cannabis wholesaler is returning its products.

The Ontario Cannabis Store, the government corporation in charge of wholesale distribution to licensed retailers and operator of the province’s online store, has elected to return all or substantially all of CannTrust products because they are “non-conforming.” The products are valued at about $2.9 million, CannTrust said in a statement Monday.

Health Canada hasn’t ordered a recall of any products, according to CannTrust.


Here's how shockingly low the odds of U.S. marijuana legalization really are

Americans support legalizing marijuana in record numbers. A Hill-HarrisX survey released in April found that a whopping 84% of respondents support the legalization of pot. Half were in favor only for legalizing medical cannabis, with the other half supportive of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana as well.

With this widespread support, you might assume that U.S. marijuana legalization is a shoo-in. Think again.

By my rough calculations, the odds of marijuana being legalized in the U.S. within the next few years is less than 1 in 300. That's right: The chances that you would flip a coin and have it land on heads eight times in a row are much better than the country legalizing pot anytime soon.


Experts and advocates skeptical pot conviction pardons will benefit northerners

Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions will be eligible for record suspensions, but advocates and experts say it won't be so easy.

Bill C-93 came into force this month, and allows people to get fast-tracked record suspensions at no cost. A record suspension prevents a criminal record or pardon from appearing in the National Repository of Criminal Records.

The legislation waives the previous $631 application fee and ends the application wait period of up to 10 years. 

"What it doesn't get rid of, is the lead-up costs," said Samantha McAleese, a PhD candidate in sociology at Carleton University who researches recent changes to Canada's pardon system.


Bernie Sanders just suggested a unique way to legalize marijuana

Whether you're ready for it or not, it's election season in America. For the next 15 months we'll be hearing political ads and debates, and reading columns concerning which political candidates give our city, county, state, or country the best chance to thrive.

But what's particularly interesting about the 2020 elections is that, for the first time ever, there's likely to be a real focus and debate on cannabis reform.


Only 1 marijuana-impaired driving charge laid in Calgary since legalization

Only one cannabis-impaired driving charge has been laid in Calgary since legalization last October, according to police.

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) believes that number will go up with more officer training and as roadside screening devices advance in technology, but one of the city's top impaired driving defence lawyers says he's not so sure that will be the case.

"There's no charges, there's no wave of cannabis impaired drivers, there's just a big nothing so far," says Tim Foster, whose firm gets about 30 impaired driving cases every month with almost all being alcohol-related.

It's always been illegal to drive while high, so Foster says he wasn't expecting an influx of charges after legalization.


Pardons for simple marijuana possession coming soon for 250,000 Canadians

The Trudeau government has finally introduced a bill which allows Canadians to receive free no-wait pardons for previous simple possession or cannabis charges by applying through a website.

The Justice Minister Lametti estimates there are upwards of 250,000 Canadians with some form of cannabis possession convictions.

“Instead of waiting five years and paying a parole board $631, applicants will no longer have to wait a single minute and will not owe the parole board a single cent,” said Federal Justice Minister David Lametti.


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